Ten Years Ago Today
Ten years ago today, May 25, 2004, I walked across the stage at my high school graduation. In a way, it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long because the time has passed so quickly, and I still have so many vivid memories from high school. But then again, it also feels like it’s been an eternity since then. So much has changed. I don’t think any of us had a clue that night what we were embarking on as we left our familiarity of the last thirteen years of school.
Sadly, some people for whom I had high expectations have surprised me by not living up to their potential. People who had a real heart for God in middle school and high school got caught up in the darkness of our culture and started blending in with the world instead of being a voice for the Kingdom. Others who are so brilliant have allowed their minds to sit on the shelf because of the scary and destructive paths they have taken with drugs and alcohol. Some have even lost their lives on the journey since high school. The disappointments make my heart ache. Oh, but how big, redeeming, and kind our God is! It’s NEVER too late for God to invade a life and transform it – to resurrect dead places in a heart and call to life the dreams He placed in a person as a child. This is my prayer over our graduating class… that we would come to know God as He really is, be transformed by His saving love, and walk in our true identity as sons and daughters of God! Let it be so, Lord!
On the other hand, some classmates have pleasantly surprised me by coming into their own over the last ten years. They have found their niche and are pursuing things that no one in high school would have ever guessed! I have loved watching this! People have gone to great colleges that seemed out of their reach at Dorman and have done incredibly well. Others have excelled in starting careers which they enjoy and for which they are really gifted. And others who seemed to struggle with weight in grade school have had some kind of awakening and are in the best shape of their lives. Some who seemed to struggle in one way or another with the dating scene in high school have met their match and are happily married now. And perhaps my personal favorite has been watching the girls (and I suppose guys too) that got overlooked in high school because they were “plain” or simply didn’t hang out with the “right” people (such a stupid lie that high schoolers believe) blossom into these drop dead gorgeous women! The “ugly duckling turning into a swan” story really does happen! On a side note, so does the opposite story; some who were “swans” in high school grow into not-as-cute “ducklings.” Sad, but true!
Another neat experience I have had since graduation is getting to know people I attended Dorman with but yet didn’t really know in high school. There are so many classmates that I’ve connected with more since graduation than when we were actually in school together. It’s been a neat experience. I think it’s easier to connect with some people once you’re past school because a lot of the artificial barriers of high school are removed. Through several of these connections, I’ve seen that many of the most overlooked, “hidden” people at Dorman were actually the greatest treasures of our graduating class. I see God in that in a beautiful way.
As I look back to our high school days and think about all that has transpired over the last decade since we finished, I can only be grateful. Grateful for the people God has brought into my life and grateful for the beautiful story He is telling. And the story isn’t finished yet!